It’s funny how much things change in a small amount of time. 18 months ago, Floyd Mayweather Jr. destroyed Ricky Hatton to cement his reputation as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. At that point Manny Pacquiao was fighting at 130 lbs and wasn’t really on the radar (as far as being a contender). A year and a half later, Mayweather’s coming out of retirement (as I predicted), and Pacquiao’s the top fighter in the world coming off a win over Hatton. As for Ricky, well, nothing really changed for him — he still wound up laying on the canvas on top of the Rockstar logo, a loser in both bouts.
Manny really has proven to me that he has an excellent skill level in addition to his impressive punching power. This guy absolutely destroyed Hatton, to the point where I thought he broke Ricky’s jaw and inflicted serious long-term damage with the knockout blow. I’m not going to get carried away with his ability and tell you how great he is — go see his fights against Juan Manuel Marquez to see otherwise — but Pac Man has really has opened up many people’s eyes with his wins at the higher weight class. Manny proved that he has a lethal knockout punch and that great results can be achieved when you pair a diligent fighter with a smart trainer.
Back to Hatton, truth is he got exposed once again. The guy is nothing but a straight ahead puncher who fails to make in-fight adjustments (probably because he was able to beat up just about anyone he’d ever faced). Pacquiao and Freddie Roach devised a plan to exploit Ricky’s weakness (Hatton leaves himself open when he throws his left) and they executed perfectly. Retirement isn’t necessary, but mechanical adjustments and fighting lower-quality opponents is. And with the layoff, Mayweather has a lot to prove against Marquez before a fight with Pacquiao can be scheduled. (Even if that’s what we all want to see).